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FAIRE 2021

Back to dirt

Aléa – Miriam Josi, Stella Lee Prowse, designers

Research and prototyping into the underground fabrication of a mycelium chair

Research and prototyping into the underground fabrication of a mycelium chair


Back to dirt - a bio-inclusive process with mycelium is an interdisciplinary applied research project that proposes a new, more integrated myco-fabrication process. Myco-fabrication utilizes the growth of mycelium, the root structure of fungi, to create materials from organic waste. Back to dirt expands on this process by using local soil as a mold to grow objects. This unique process allows to bypass existing steps and conditions of myco-fabrication, such as sterilization, additional energy and plastic molds, while exploring the mycelium’s capacity to regenerate soils and reintroduce biodiversity.

The Boisbuchet Residency Award 2021 gave Miriam Josi et Stella Lee Prowse the opportunity to bring the lab to nature and apply their bio-inclusive exploration at a larger scale.

Moving forward, FAIRE will allow them to situate this process within the urban context of Paris,
collaborate with experts and evaluate its regenerative capacities and feasibility in order to move beyond proof of concept to real world application.

Aléa – Miriam Josi & Stella Lee Prowse
Miriam Josi and Stella Lee Prowse first met during their undergraduate studies in product design at
Parsons The New School for Design in New York. They both recently graduated from the MS Nature
Inspired Design at Ensci les Ateliers in Paris, and received the 2021 Boisbuchet Residency Award.
Aléa endeavors to establish a deeper relationship between the natural and built environment that blurs the boundaries of disciplines. It’s their mission to take a critical stance on biodesign to avoid a trajectory of exploitation and control of nature and to instead imagine new ways of making that interact, adapt and share control and benefits with the more-than-human.


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